Theme and What is it?
The gods of Olympus tire of the humans and seek their destruction while others defend them. Hermes calls for a contest to determine what shall come of them. The essence of god will be split into the light and dark to be pitted against each other to determine the fate of humanity. Fight for the light or the dark, and for fight for glory!
The goal is to dominate your opponent by getting one of the gods to the other gate, no valid moves can be performed, or eliminating the gods from the other side.
Place the board between the players and they choose which side they will use, dark or light. Each player shuffles their deck of cards and draws three. The light side goes first.
Players have the following options on their turn: Move, Attack, or Summon. They can also use their Special Ability if able.
Move: Each god has their own movement template that directs how they move on the board.
Attack: Each god has their own attack template that directs which spaces around them are threatened by them.
Summon: The player can summon one of the gods in his hand to the board on the Gate of its side. The player then draws another card to replenish his hand. Any number of gods can be in play on a given side, there is no limit.
You can easily pick up this game and play it because there is little in the way of preparation and each turn is a single action. But my son and I found out quickly that you can get bogged down in your strategy and figuring out how best to maximize your play.
Game Build Quality
This is a game preview so the components aren’t necessarily representative of production. They are, though, of decent make and function well enough to play the game as intended. There weren’t enough of the damage counters for the character pawns but that didn’t hamper gameplay.
The art of the game, even for a preview, is well done. The depictions of the gods on the game box, character pawns, and cards are unique and powerful. The card design is simple and effective.
The nature of the game is for two minds to battle in a game of wits and daring, using the strengths and weaknesses to their advantage.
Age Range & Weight
The age range identified is 14+ and I agree as the game requires the ability to understand the abilities of your characters on the board, how they relate to your opponents characters, devise strategies to use those abilities to gain the upper hand. Not to say younger players couldn’t pick this up, but it is a game that requires more of the player.
The art looks great and goes well with the game, but the differentiation between the light side and dark side components is negligible. The cards have textual descriptions of how the characters move, attack, and the special abilities but a simple grid could be used to describe these as a shorthand where the full description could be in the reference guide.
This game is very much like chess or Onitama, and given the sheer diversity and unpredictability I think it more challenging and offers plenty of replayability as each game will be different. The powers of the gods are generally appropriate to who they are (Hermes is fast and can be all over the place, Ares is powerful, Hephaestus is strong yet is supporter of the others, etc.). Yet given there are 12 gods with unique movement templates, attack templates, and special abilities that keeping track was troublesome, so we had to keep going back to the reference guide to help.
There is potential with this game that can be expanded upon, too, given the theme like the addition of different gods or monsters, maybe even human or demi-god heroes.
Irrespective of any misgivings I have, I would certainly recommend this game to those who like those games above as it provides a different, unique challenge that the others don’t.